Egypt - Belarus Preview: The Pharaohs require victory at Hampden Park in order to claim a quarter-final berth
Georgy Kondratyev's side are also looking to advance to the next stage, along with giants Brazil, in their debut appearance at the Olympic football tournament
By Matthew Harold
Fathi, Fathy, Hegazy, Ramadan
Aboutrika, Hassan, Gomaa
Kozlov, Kuzmianok, Politevich, Polyakov
Baga, Bressan, Gordeichuk
Egypt go into their final game in Group C on the brink after failing to claim all three points in their second fixture with New Zealand.
Head coach Hany Ramzy has defensive worries going into the clash; Mahmoud Alaa misses the Hampden fixture due to suspension after picking up a yellow card in each of the first two games, while Ahmed Hegazy is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Striker Emad Meteab could find himself watching from the bench after putting in a sub-par performance during the draw with the All Whites at Old Trafford on Sunday and that could mean a starting berth for Petrojet forward Marwan Mohsen.
Belarus hold the advantage for qualification over The Pharaohs having beaten New Zealand in their first fixture of the group, meaning that a draw will see them through to the quarter-finals.
The Red Devils coach Georgy Kondratyev is set to continue with Ilya Aleksievich partnering former Blackpool striker Sergei Kornilenko in attack, after replacing Artem Solovei from the team that claimed a vital win in their first game.
If the Belarusians manage to claim positive result on their visit north of the border, then they will return to Old Trafford to face the winners of Group D, which will be decided when Japan meet Honduras.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Egypt racked up a staggering 28 shots on goal during their draw with New Zealand, who only could muster four chances in return.
- The Pharaohs made it to London 2012 after claiming third place in the African qualifying, beating South Africa after they lost out to Morocco in the semi-finals.
- Striker Mohamed Salah (pictured right) and centre-back Ahmed Hegazy are the only two players not to ply their trade in Egypt, with Salah recently signing for Basel, while Hegazy is at Fiorentina.
- Belarus striker Sergei Kornilenko is the only member of the squad to play outside the country, playing for Russian side Krylia Sovetov.
- Georgy Kondratyev’s side had only 31 per cent possession in their second group game, as they suffered defeat at the hands of Brazil.
- Midfielder Renan Bardini Bressan, who scored the only goal for Belarus in their last fixture, was actually born in Brazil, before changing nationally in April.
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Top 3 Predictions
Egypt U-23 2-1 Belarus U-23
- 15.72 %
Egypt U-23 1-2 Belarus U-23
- 15.07 %
Egypt U-23 0-2 Belarus U-23
- 12.01 %
|Olympic Games (OLY)||1 Aug 2012||Egypt U-23 3 - Belarus U-23 1|
|4 Aug 2012||Japan Under 23 3 - Egypt U-23 0||OLY|
|1 Aug 2012||Egypt U-23 3 - Belarus U-23 1||OLY|
|29 Jul 2012||Egypt U-23 1 - New Zealand Under 23 1||OLY|
|26 Jul 2012||Brazil Under 23 3 - Egypt U-23 2||OLY|
|10 Dec 2011||Senegal U-23 0 - Egypt U-23 2||OCaf|
|-||Ahmed Al Shenawy||Goalkeeper|
|22||Mohammed Abu Trika||Midfielder|
|17||Mohamed El Nenny||Midfielder|
|-||Mahmoud Alaa Eldin||Defender|
|Mohamed Salah Ghaly|
Sala came on as a substitute in the first game against Brazil to help set-up what was a tense finish for the South Americans and he was one of the few Egyptian players to come out with any credit after the New Zealand fixture after scoring the only goal.
He’ll be hoping that his time in Britain continues and that it will be more fruitful than his previous experience, when he spent the second half of the 2010-11 season on loan at Premier League side Blackpool, where he failed to find the net in six appearances.
The key to the game could be the problems that Egypt have in defence and that may allow the Belarus front pair to exploit their problems at the back and make their way down to Manchester for the quarter-finals.